Before you die, some people think, your life flashes before your eyes. But for the actors behind Game of Thrones' soon-to-be-deceased characters there's a much more clearly defined moment of mortality: a phone call with not just one but both of the show's co-creators. Beware, Game of Thrones season 7, episode 2 spoilers follow.
Nymeria Sand actress Jessica Henwick (who also starred as Colleen Wing in Iron Fist) told Entertainment Weekly about the phone call that sealed her character's fate: a grisly death at the hands of Euron Greyjoy.
"I was in New York filming Iron Fist and I got a call from [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss], the double Ds. As soon as you hear that more than one of them is on the call you know what that means. If it’s just one they’re probably talking about the story. But if it’s both of them then you know. They told me what’s going to happen and said, 'We’d really love for you to come back.'"
Prince Doran Martell actor Alexander Siddig cited a similar phone call in an interview with Vanity Fair last year (one he was surprised to receive, as he claimed he was contracted for several more episodes). Henwick said she initially considered declining the offer. Even when she did decide to return to Game of Thrones, her busy filming schedule meant the show had to go with a scaled-back version of what would have been a "more drawn out [Nymeria] storyline".
"[Weiss and Benioff] pitched me the story and said, 'It’s really important that you come back otherwise your character will just disappear and fans will never get a resolution,'" Henwick explained. "The show was so massive for me in terms of my career and building my profile and as an experience in itself, I wanted to see it through to the end."